Orbost, VIC - St James Anglican

Year Built: 1927

Denomination: Anglican

Saint: James

Address: 34 Browning Street, Orbost, Victoria, 3888

Architect: Unknown

Traditional Owners: Gunaikurnai people

Last Updated: 30/08/2022

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History and Architecture:

With the parsonage all but complete, another important meeting of the Board of Guardians was held on June 9th, 1891. The business of the meeting was to discuss the advisability of building a Church. As usual, matters moved quickly for, on June 15th, 1891, plans for a building "for Church purposes" were submitted. Mr. Power was asked to draw up specifications in accordance with the following recommendations: Nave —36' x 21', Chancel — 13' x 12', Porch — 6' x 8', Walls — 14' high with a door at the back of the Church. The Chancel was to be lined, the windows were to have Gothic heads and the floor was to be of pine. Tenders were to be called for both hardwood and softwood weatherboards. Mr. Street offered to cut the blocks for the building and Mr. Cameron offered to cart them.

The Church was dedicated on March 6th 1892 by the Right Reverend Goe Lord Bishop of Melbourne.

By 1926 a new church replaced the old. It was designed by Messrs. Gawler and Drummond of Queen Street, Melbourne, and is of semi-Gothic and Norman style.It occupies the site originally held by the Rectory. The main body of the building lies east-west, with the tower at an angle to overlook the town. Built of reinforced concrete, it has a rough caste surface with smooth facings in a darker shade of grey. The roof is high pitched with grey cement tiles. The nave is 56' long and 29' wide giving accommodation for 250 people. It is spanned by four mas-sive principles of yellow stringy bark, built in a cross-wise manner, the wood cut at the Brodribb sawmill, then owned by Mr. H. Hughes.

The Baptistry is located at the western end of the nave. The Tower, Norman in style, is 9' square and 40' high, topped with four minarets and a flagpole. The tower also acts as a belfry in which a fine bell, first heard on the day of the Dedication.

A Foundation stone reads, " St James Memorial church To the Glory of God - In Remembrance of of those who served and suffered during the Great War. 1914 - 1919 A.D. This stone was laid The Right Revd G.H. Cranswick D.D. Bishop of Gippsland 1st October 1927. Rector The Rev J.B. Montgomerie".


This list may not contain every serving cleric, past or present, for this church.
Further submissions welcomed.

Years Name Annotation D.o.B D.o.D
1884 - 1890 Mr Robert Martin 1924
1891 - 1893 Rev D. Ross Hewton
1893 - Rev Alfred Brain 1862 1944
1893 - 1894 Rev L Abramovitch
1895 - 1898 Rev J. T. Beglin
1898 - 1900 Rev T. D. Reynolds
1900 - 1901 Rev W. D. Kennedy
1901 - Rev E. E. Tanner
1902 - 1905 Rev A. L. Kent
1905 - 1911 Rev P. J. Bazeley
1911 - 1913 Rev Leonard Maitland Nancarrow 1881 1949
1914 - 1918 Rev Melchior George Opper 1884 1959
1918 - 1922 Rev Arthur Rufus Raymond 1857 1932
1922 - 1926 Rev Walter Gilbert Backhouse 1890 1975
1926 - 1932 Rev John Bruce Montgomerie 1893 1961
1932 - 1935 Rev Karl Egbert Hamilton 1883 1958
1935 - 1941 Rev J. D. Sansom
1941 - 1947 Rev Frederick William Hipkin 1901 1987
1947 - 1951 Rev M. F. Green
1951 - 1955 Rev Charles Dewar Haughton Pilkington 1908 1978
1956 - 1962 Rev Thomas William Hewlett 1900 1979
1962 - 1971 Rev William Leathbridge 1985
1972 - 1974 Rev A. T. Huggins
1974 - 1975 Rev J. J. St Clair
1975 - Rev Joseph Maria Verspaandonk
1979 - Rev S. S.J. Collings
2022 - Rev Bevil Lunson


No information currently available. Submissions welcomed.


1. Cable Clerical Index.
2. The Memorial Church of St James Orbost A History. LH 283.9456 MAC. Jennifer A. McLennan